Most women understand that having the right styling tools is critical for achieving the chic hairstyles you crave. For many, the flat iron is the number one styling must-have, and for good reason. However, once the flat iron gained the tremendous popularity, it has enjoyed for the past few years, curling irons practically went the way of the dodo bird, but it shouldn’t be that way. The curling iron is plenty capable of helping women achieve a wide variety of chic, sophisticated and fun styles, from crimps to beach waves to loose, breezy bends. Following, you’ll find five easy-to-achieve styles you can create yourself with your very own curling iron.

Stylish Crimps

Admittedly, the crimped style takes a bit of practice; however, by using a curling iron (preferably with a 1.5-inch barrel), you can achieve a voluminous and sophisticated crimped hairstyle.

Simply begin with a small section near your roots. Wrap the hair around the barrel, away from your face, and hold for a few seconds. Once you release that portion, move down your strands, just beneath the section you’ve just curled, wrapping the hair around the barrel in the opposite direction. Repeat these motions, alternating the curl pattern back and forth until you reach the end. Simply repeat this process, section by section, all over your hair.

Although some women have used crimping irons to achieve this style, using this technique with the curling iron allows you to achieve more glamorous style than those from an earlier era.

Tight, Springy Curls

Those of us who weren’t born with those naturally tight, springy curls often envy those who were. However, a great curling iron and a bit of technique can help you achieve this fun, flirty look.

To achieve this look, simply begin with a curling iron that has a fairly small barrel. Simply wrap the strands of hair tightly around the barrel, leaving no space between your strands and the barrel. Instead of releasing the hair from the curling iron, as you normally would, to achieve tight, springy curls, simply pull the styling tool away from the hair, moving it straight down. That way, the hair remains in a coiled style, exactly the way you’ll wear it when finished.

Short, Carefree Waves

The key to achieving a fun, carefree look is giving it the look that the hair really has been done, per se. Achieving this effortless look is the use of an oblong curling wand, which is far easier that a perfectly round iron for wrapping short hair around the barrel. Plus, the barrel lends itself perfectly to achieving that messy waved look.

Another trick top hair stylists use is to change the direction of the curls, with some of the waves curled toward the face, and some styled away from the face. That way, the look comes together in a effortless manner.

Long, Effortless Waves

While many envy those long, effortless waves, achieving this fabulously flirty look is probably much simpler than you think. After shampooing your hair, wait until the hair becomes fairly dry and somewhat straight. Divide your hair into four sections, one on each side of your head, and two stacked atop one another in the back. Then, with your curling iron, begin at the back of your hair and curl upward, section by section. Once the hair is curled, pin each section at the top of your head and allow the hair to cool. When the hair has cooled, release the strands, shaking them briskly for incredible volume and blended waves. Because the hair is longer, the 1.5-inch barrel tends to work best to help you achieve this style.

Loose, Bended Locks

For those who have curled your hair all over only to discover they appear more ‘Shirley Temple-like’ than you’d prefer, the loose, bended lock is an easy, attractive fix. Simply take the styling tool and section off part of your hair. Run your curling iron over the existing curls, helping to loosen them just enough to create the look of effortless waves.

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